When Pastor John Bridges inherits his father’s church, he is given huge expectations by the congregation, who is led by his suspicious and controlling stepmother, Mary Margaret. John’s wife Betsy wants him to look for a better opportunity, but John wants to follow in his father’s footsteps. However, when Mary Margaret leads a church revolt against John, he decides to take matters into his own hands and enlists the help of his theatre-guru son to help him create an alter ego to convince his stepmother to reconcile.
Production Quality (3 points)
For the obviously low budget that was provided here and other limited resources, this is a highly impressive production. This is a key example of what we want first-time film makers to do: use everything you have to the fullest potential, even if it’s small. Every aspect of the production of Altar Egos is highly professional and there are no errors here. Video quality, camera work, and audio quality are all flawless, even though there are both indoor and outdoor scenes. The soundtrack is a little goofy but it works for the comedy genre. Sets, locations, and props are all realistic and authentic and demonstrate care. Finally, the editing is good, although there is only a small amount of plot content to work with. In the end, this production could have easily been another Flywheel, but it wasn’t. New film makers are raising the standard for the market.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
As with most church comedies (and Christmas comedies for that matter), the plot of Altar Egos is fairly limited in scope. It follows a predictable progression and isn’t really all that creative. However, the characters are highly believable since the dialogue is well-written. The comedy is subtle instead of obvious and is actually truly funny. Yet the comedy does run its course. Though the message presented in this film is good, this movie tends to overstay its welcome with one too many extended sequences and montages. As previously mentioned, you can see the ending from the beginning, but nevertheless, like all comedies, the characters make this movie what it is, thus making it worth your time.
Acting Quality (3 points)
You can hardly ask for a better casting and acting job than this for a first-time film maker. Robert Amaya assume his first lead role very well, and even Erin Bethea is good as a quirky side character. Victoria Jackson is always hilarious when she’s cast as an unserious and goofy character. The new cast members also add a lot to this film as each of them assume their characters very well. Basically, comedy is made or broken by the acting, and this cast passed the test.
Once listed in the Box Office Revolution Movie Purgatory, Altar Egos has made a comeback and has risen to the top of the market, leaving behind other 2017 films that were better funded and marketed. This just goes to show you what can happen when a film maker really cares about the movie they are making and takes time and effort to make it happen the right way rather than just any way. Altar Egos demonstrates top-notch production, despite low funding, as well as superb casting and acting. Though the plot is a little thin at times, effort is put into dialogue and character development. All of this spells a bright future for Sean Morgan and his team—so far, he’s the best Liberty University has to offer in the writing and directing department. They should consider using him for their future projects. Regardless, this film is certainly worth your time.
Final Rating: 7 out of 10 points